Obama hopes some gun owners are willing to prostitute the Second Amendment for a paycheck
By Chad D. Baus
The past decade as brought about several visible attempts by gun grabbers to masquerade as Second Amendment advocates.
One of the more high-profile attempts was launched by Monster.com billionaire Andrew McKelvey, a former member of the Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI) board of directors. During his time at HCI, McKelvey became convinced that the words "gun control" weren't selling to the American people, voicing his displeasure to other board members. The HCI cronies apparently saw McKelvey's point, and in 2001 renamed themselves the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
McKelvey, however, had already moved on, having spent $12 million to create Americans for Gun Safety (AGS). But a quick visit to the Americans for Gun Safety website alerted visitors that they weren't the least bit concerned for firearms safety. There was never any information on the website about the proper handling of firearms, safety practices on the range, or anything of the kind. A review of their legislative priorities, on the other hand, revealed the truth - that AGS was founded on the notion that Bill Clinton-style spin on the same old gun control platform could fool Americans into supporting their agenda.
AGS failed, but the idea went looking for a new home. In 2005, a group of anti-gun individuals created American Hunters and Shooters Association. From a president who has been a strong supporter of numerous anti-Second Amendment candidates, to board members who had documented involvement with other anti-gun groups like Stop Handgun Violence, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and HCI, it should have been clear to gun owners that AHSA was just another wolf in sheeps' clothing.
But while pro-Second Amendment patriots have been trying to sound the alarm about AHSA ever since its inception, the group is hoping it can find a voice among a particular group of gun owners - specifically, gun owners who are willing to prostitute their Second Amendment rights (and ours) for a better paycheck.
It was Charleton Heston who first began encouraging Americans to "vote freedom first" - to hold the need to protect the Second Amendment above any other issue that voters decide upon. Voters who "vote freedom first" ensured the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994, and the victory of George W. Bush over Al Gore in 2000, and again over John Kerry in 2004.
This election cycle, however, there are at least a few gun owners are announcing their intent to vote freedom second, or third...which, because they are supporting Barack H. Obama, means they aren't voting to protect their Second Amendment freedoms at all.
When I exposed Tony Dean, who had described himself as a "lifelong Republican" that is "switching parties to head a Sportsmen for Obama group", for what he really was, I began to hear from a few persons who purported to be gun owners voting for Obama. But their answers to my follow-up questions quickly exposed the fact that the main motivation behind their vote was not gun rights at all, but rather a belief in human-caused global warming. What good are guns, they argue, if at some point the environment no longer supports hunting?
Aside from noting the fact the Second Amendment is definitely NOT about hunting, I chose not to argue my views about the theory of human-caused global warming with them, nor will I here. Suffice it to say that I am far from convinced that our planet is so close to destruction that our freedom should be thrown asunder in a last-ditch effort to save the planet. (For more on hunters and our long-standing support for the environment (sans the environmental extremist agenda), check out National Shooting Sports Foundation President and Chief Executive Steve Sanetti's Washington Post op-ed entitled "Hunter Green - The People Behind a Conservation Success Story".)
Another argument being sounded by pro-Obama organizations, including AHSA and the AFL-CIO labor union, is that gun owners should vote for Obama (who opposes concealed carry and who has a long, deep history of support for radical anti-gun positions) because people need to be more worried about losing their jobs than their guns.
According to ABC News, AHSA has produced a new radio commercial asserting that Obama isn't a gun grabber. The new spot features AHSA president Ray Schoenke — who has funded campaigns of anti-gun candidates including Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and Ted Kennedy — promising that Obama will “make sure we can keep our guns.”
“But what about our jobs?” the ad asks, shifting the discussion away from gun rights and on to the economy. (Click here to listen to the AHSA radio commercial.)
The AHSA ad is echoed in an AFL-CIO press release:
Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Rick Bloomingdale says "the truth of the matter is that George W. Bush and his failed economic policies have taken away more guns from average Americans than any gun control law ever passed in the history of the United States. The disastrous Bush economic policies supported by John McCain have turned pawn shops into gun shops as struggling workers hock their guns to pay their bills."
Got that? Vote for Obama, they say, the man who says he would appoint the same type of Supreme Court justices as the ones who lost their "collective rights" Second Amendment argument in D.C. v. Heller by just one vote, because at least you'll be able to afford the gun you might no longer be legally allowed to own.
The AFL-CIO press release concludes by declaring that "gun issues are important to us but we will not let right-wing rhetoric distract us from the critical pocketbook issues most important to our families."
In other words, AHSA and the the AFL-CIO are encouraging gun owners to prostitute their Second Amendment rights (and ours) for a paycheck.
As NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre recently told the Washington Times, "polls show that gun ownership in union households runs from a low of 48 percent in California to 90 percent in states like West Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Nevada and places like that."
Let me suggest to union members that before you believe the tale your union bureaucrats are telling, that your gun rights are safe with former Joyce Foundation board member Barack Hussein Obama, consider the platform of the party that nominated him. From writers Alan Gottlieb and Dave Workman, in an op-ed entitled Democrats to gun owners: ‘The party is over’:
The party platform tries to patronize gun owners by claiming to “recognize that the right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans’ continued Second Amendment right to own and use firearms.” But then the document quickly reveals that Democrats have changed their tune but not their agenda: “We can work together to enact and enforce common-sense laws and improvements, like closing the gun show loophole, improving our background check system and reinstating the assault weapons ban…”
The party chose Obama as its standard-bearer. He once served on the board of the vehemently anti-firearms civil rights Joyce Foundation. During his first run for public office he supported a ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns and semi-automatic rifles. He supports mandatory waiting periods on all gun purchases. He told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in April that “I am not in favor of concealed weapons,” insulting millions of armed citizens who care about self-defense in the process.
Gun owners know Biden as an anti-gun extremist. He consistently earns “F” ratings from gun rights organizations. He claimed credit for writing the original legislation to ban semiautomatic sport-utility rifles that are owned by millions of Americans who have harmed nobody.
The proverbial last straw for the firearms community was Obama’s remark during his acceptance speech that “The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don’t tell me we can’t uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals.”
The “reality” is that gun rights are the same for everyone, no matter where they live. And gun owners know from experience that Democrats falsely believe that the only way to keep guns away from criminals is to oppressively regulate gun ownership for everyone.
AHSA and labor unions like the AFL-CIO believe your gun rights for sale. Are you willing to prostitute the Second Amendment? Or will you vote freedom first?
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.